Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Units Program: Mississippi
Education, Research and Technical Assistance for Managing Our Natural Resources

Mississippi Project

Modeling Species at Risk to Support Species Status Assessments in the Southeast

January 2018 - December 2023


Participating Agencies

  • U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Effective conservation planning requires reliable information on the geographic distribution of organisms, something often incomplete for many species, especially for rare ones, due to limited observation data. Species distribution models (SDM) are highly valuable in determining critical remaining and potential habitats of at-risk species for conservation planning. Despite the proliferation of SDM and tools in the past two decades, management programs have not fully adopted them to inform species surveys and other monitoring efforts; instead, many rely on expert knowledge and other traditional methods to locate extant populations. One important framework that would benefit from SDM is the Species Status Assessment (SSA) developed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. While the SSA considers multiple elements associated with species condition, including distributions, there are no standard requirements to estimate species distributions. Our objective is to find an optimal SDM approach for at-risk species that can be considered for SSA and similar species monitoring efforts.

Presentations Presentation Date
Ramirez-Reyes, C., G. Street, M. Nazeri, K. Evans, D.T. Jones-Farrand, and F.J. Vilella. 2019. An Ensemble Habitat Modeling Approach to Inform the Distribution of at-Risk Species in the Southeastern U.S. Joint Meeting of the American Fisheries Society and The Wildlife Society, September 29-October 3, 2019, Reno NV. October 2019